Anamorphine, a gorgeous upcoming game from Artifact 5, will explore themes of mental health. Until recently, all we knew about it came from an early teaser, but a pile of new details just arrived along with the announcement that Anamorphine is coming to PS4 and PS VR alongside PC.
When it arrives on those platforms later this year, it will show us the story of a couple impacted by mental health issues. Tyler, a freelance nature photographer, and Elena, a cellist. The game will deal with the impact of trauma after an unexplained accident leaves Elena unable to work, focusing on Tyler’s post-traumatic stress and Elena’s depression in the aftermath.
We don’t use the usual text, voice-over, or UI to tell the story. You won’t be clicking buttons to navigate. Instead, we lean into visuals and evocative 3D sound, guiding you where you need to go to work through the life events and emotions that feel like they’ve sculpted themselves into a cage. They’ll show you how to look back at your past – only to have it shatter around you like a torn-up Escher painting. You’ll see yourself get stuck in a nihilistic self-fulfilling prophecy of alcohol abuse and denial. You’ll have to face the future, when living in your past may seem like a vastly more tempting option. By the end, your glass can be half full or half empty, and it’s your choice that determines how Tyler deals with his past and moves into his future.
World Mental Health Day is coming up on October 10, and as developers making a game about handling emotional and mental fallout, it’s important to us that people realize that mental health is just as important as physical health. As a studio, we try to avoid common mental health minefields like crunch and overwork. As individuals, we’ve been affected by mental health in different ways, and all know friends and family members who have fought their own battles. We hope Anamorphine helps you think about how to take care of yourself, your partners, and your friends when life is at its harshest.
We don’t have a launch date for Anamorphine yet, but it’s due to arrive in 2017. For more information, you can follow Artifact 5 on Twitter.